Zeien Lecture Presented by John C. Couch
“Preparing for Serendipity” was the theme when John C. Couch, President and CEO of C.M. Capital Corporation, spoke as an Alfred M. Zeien lecturer on October 28, 2010. Webb Institute was delighted to have Mr. Couch, who summarized his personal career history in the maritime industry and presented some of his thoughts on leadership and setting and achieving goals. Attendees included the student body, faculty members, and assorted individuals from the community.
Mr. Couch’s father was a Webb alumnus from the class of 1933; Mr. Couch, however, went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate education in naval architecture and marine engineering. After graduation, Mr. Couch worked as an unlicensed engineer aboard a commercial vessel until he attended Stanford University where he earned an MBA in Finance.
Mr. Couch told the audience that his love of ships really took hold when he first worked aboard one of the Military Sea Transport Command’s first roll on/roll off ships. He explained that when she was in dry dock the ship's lines and polished propellers awed him, and that he then knew he wanted to have a career involving ships.
Mr. Couch emphasized that good leadership involves inspiring others, especially in difficult situations, to achieve goals and objectives as effectively as possible. His own life story illustrates the need to see problems as challenges, and challenges as opportunities.